Dates are locked in for Victoria’s Commonwealth Games, with international athletes to converge on the state’s regions in March 2026.
The opening ceremony will be held at the MCG on March 17 followed by 12 days of events in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, and the Gippsland region, Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan announced.
The event is expected to generate at least $3 billion and create more than 7500 jobs.
“There are important legacy opportunities here by supporting social enterprises,” Ms Allan said.
“It will provide lasting, longer term job benefits and showcase regional Victoria on the international stage.”
A core group of 16 sports has been agreed between the State of Victoria, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Australia.
An expression of interest for additional sports to be included to the program has started.
The state has committed to a $2.6 billion investment in community infrastructure in regional Victoria, including housing and world-class sporting facilities.
Each regional hub will have its own athlete village, which will later be transformed into affordable housing.
Commonwealth Games Legacy Minister Shaun Leane said he will work with First Nations people, local governments, sporting associations and businesses to maximise opportunities.
“This is great for Victoria and for regional Victoria and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into it to make sure we get the best outcome,” he said.
Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy, said Geelong should host the opening ceremony of regional Victoria’s 2026 Commonwealth Games.
“There is no better choice to kick off regional Victoria’s Commonwealth Games than in the largest stadium outside of Melbourne,” Mr Guy said.
“If Daniel Andrews doesn’t re-think this decision, a Matthew Guy Liberals and Nationals Government will relocate the Opening Ceremony to Geelong.”